"As health care IT leaders move forward with their plans they will want to develop a clear roadmap," Morris says, adding healthcare leaders should consider the following questions:
"A meaningful use roadmap should include not only goals and expected outcomes, but also timelines, staffing requirements, and a projection of expected capital and operating costs. Factor in the risks involved and the needed controls," Morris says.
Mark Segal, vice president of government and industry affairs for GE Healthcare IT says healthcare leaders should also scrutinize potential vendors' roadmaps, as well-and where they are in relation to the meaningful use timeline—which is broken into three stages over the next few years—stage two starts in 2013, CMS has not yet set a date for stage three.
"It's not just where we are for stage one, it's pretty clear that you've got an accelerating trajectory," Segal says, noting that while CMS softened some stage one requirements, they didn't eliminate them. Rather, they've been deferred to stage two. "It really is going to be important that people look at stage two," he says. And "2013 is around the corner."
The meaningful use rule is a turning point for the industry, says Glen Tullman, Allscripts CEO. "The time for waiting is past and we're seeing people already acting in a very dramatic way," he says.
So what's his advice to healthcare providers? "The advice is get going. You don't want to be the one that, by the time you decide, no money is available," he says.